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YA Novelties

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Black Moon

Black Moon - Jessica McQuay Come check out this review on our blog!

4.25 Stars!


Okay, I'm going to cheat our usual rating system here. I'm going to give this book 4.25 stars. You can imagine the missing 1/4 star. :) I'm going to be reviewing the Cover Art, Plot, Style, Characters, Personal Pet-Peeves, or PPPs, if you will, and Overall opinions.

Cover Art: Definitely an interesting choice for a cover. It's neither beautiful, nor gory, nor depressing. It's beguiling and alluring. The woman is beckoning potential readers to come over and find out her secrets. After reading the book, I'm honestly quite glad the author didn't go with some frilly-fluffy-bubbly-a-unicorn-threw-up-on-it-cover, as it seems most YA novels about faeries/fairies are. I'll give 4 (out of five) thumbs up for this cover!

Plot/Style: I don't think the plot summary of Black Moon does the book enough justice. I was truly quite skeptical when first going in, but, as I found out later, that I was quite wrong. I feel like the summary of the book gives off the wrong vibe. Not a bad vibe, just different from what I experienced while reading the book. I feel that the style of the book was quite varying. There was a lot of action, emotion, and learning about trusting one another/friendship. If you're looking for romance, this book ain't for you. There are maybe a total of 3-4 pages talking about romance that doesn't even involve Paige, the main character.

The plot of Black Moon definitely contains many plot twists and turns that make the story ten-fold better. While things might not make sense in the beginning, all will be revealed in the end. After reaching the end, I had encountered quite a few of those "Ah-ha!" moments. Out of personal experience, it's extremely hard to write a novel that has just the right pace, interesting sensory details, and lovable characters, and still keep a satisfying ending. Jessica Mcquay is skillful in incorporating ah-ha moments without boring you to death in the process, as well as creating a whole new world that I can easily imagine. (Man, what I'd kill to become a Paige Tailor.)

The type of narration of Black Moon is written in first person, with Paige as the main POV, and sometimes switching off to Cail or Rachel. One last point: I was extremely happy with how the book ended. It wasn't rushed, and it wasn't forced. It was natural, and flowed right out of the heart. (cheesy, I know) Mostly everything is resolved and it reaches a satisfying conclusion. It's really hard to find a decent YA ending, but this book definitely has one.

(Paige, Niahlah, Rachel)

Paige: The story revolves around a 17 year old senior, Paige Tailor, who is a geeky, quiet, A+ student. Never one to get in fights, and quite a loner, she seeks to change that, but her life quickly is flipped upsidedown as she finds out that she is part faerie! I was attacted to this book because I can sympathize with the protagonist's geeky, relatable character. Call me bias, but strong POVs are really quite fun for me to read, and Paige definitely fit this role for me. Quick to argue with people she doens't trust, she is really amusing to read, if not a little annoying for her stubborness. I have to admit, although I loved her character, she kind of complains (A LOT) while she's training her fae powers in the middle. All of her quirks kind of grow on you, like a little sibling or cousin. I found it ironic that although she's displayed as "mature" in school, as you read about her later in the faerie world of Varulean, you'll learn that she is quite immature and childish at times. I loved watching her character develop throughout the story. In the beginning she was so new to the aspct of faeries, but by the end, she was a pro; like, pshhhh, controlling nature everyday ain't no biggie. (Her powers were my favorite :)

Niahlah: This lady was just kick-ass awesome. She's so secretive and awesomely epic, you can't help but love her. Her outfits were pretty funky, too. The outfits varied from day to day (in hindsight, this is a GOOD thing, regarding hygiene). She wore thigh-high black stilletto boots a lot of the time, apparently. Most of the book displays how the relationship betwen Paige and Niahlah grows and strengthens. I can't even describe how great Niahlah is. You'd have to read the book to find out.

Rachel: I have to admit: Rachel was a psycho. Jessica McQuay cleverly incorporates both sides of the story into the narration. As we see what's going on in Paige's life, the protagonists, we also get a pook from time to time in Rachel's life, the antagonist. Rachel, well, has many, er, problems. Let's just leave it at that. Rachel is a very needy personality, but puts up a "tough girl" attitude as a front to avoid emotional pain. Yup, for those of you who know a bit of Japanese, she is a tsundere. She's a person that'll treat you coldly and quite rudely, but will actually be quite soft and vulnerable on the inside. As I have been told from the author, more of Rachel's story will be revealed in the sequel! Oh, and did I mention that she's a werewolf?

Pet Peeves:
One of my petpeeves, or annoyances about this story would probably be the slow beginning. Definitely after the first 20-50 pages, the story picks up, but before then, it's quite draggy. I feel like you'd have to be patient to get to the "good part" and not many people are that willing to do so. My impressions for the first part, if you can see above, weren't as happy as the later ones. It might just be me, but I noticed a subtle change of writing style after 100 pages or so. I don't know if this was intentional, to symbolize the maturity of Paige (the book is written in 1st person). If this was done purposefully, then great job!

One more little eensy-weensy annoyance. In the middle of the story, Paige agrees with her fae grandparents to train in the liberal fae arts and socializing before learning magic. I noticed that Paige complains a LOT, LOT, LOT for about 20-30 pages. Once I read over that hurdle, everything was smooth sailing afterwards.

One of my favorite parts abotu the faerie world is that it's a matriarchal society, meaning women rule. This isn't common, which is why I enjoy reading about it so much. Most of the fighting characters were women, including Paige, Naialah, and Rachel. GO ESTROGEN! As you can tell, I'm a feminist. So yeah....

I really enjoyed this novel, a lot more than I thought. As I said earlier in my reading commentary, this book exceeded and shattered all my expectations tenfold! :D
Overall, Jessica McQuay creates an elegant, yet dangerous faerie world, that follows the experiences of your not-so-average highschool senior, Paige Tailor. (BTW-how is she even able to graduate highschool in the end? She goes to the faerie world for a decent chunk of time!)It's definitely worth it to give this book a try. I guarantee you'll like it (once you get past the first 50 pages or so).

Happy Reading and thanks to Jessica McQuay for chatting up a storm!

Rosie @ YA Novelties